Once you've had the pleasure of watching hummingbirds visit your garden, it's only natural to want to see them more frequently. The small size, rapid wingbeats, mid-air acrobatics, and hovering flight are fascinating to witness. Hummingbirds always bring excitement and wonder to any outdoor space.
If you're eager to see more of these busy little birds in your garden, it's time to start choosing and planting flowers that will not only attract them but keep them well-fed and coming back for more. Use our top five tips for choosing plants for hummingbirds below. Plus, find over 30 of our favorite plants for creating an inviting sanctuary that will attract and delight hummingbirds for years to come, including the best perennials, flowering shrubs, and annuals for hummingbirds.
Top 5 Tips for Choosing Hummingbird-Friendly Plants
Look for Tubular Flowers: Select plants with tubular-shaped flowers, as they are a favorite of hummingbirds. The long, slender beaks of these birds are perfectly suited for accessing the nectar inside tubular flowers.
Choose Brightly Colored Flowers: Hummingbirds are attracted to vibrant and brightly colored flowers, especially shades of red, orange, and pink.
Opt for Long-Blooming Plants: Look for plants that have long blooming periods to ensure a continuous source of nectar for hummingbirds. This way, they'll have a reliable food supply throughout their migration or breeding season.
Plant in Masses: Not only does planting an abundance of hummingbird-friendly plants create a visually stunning display highly attractive to hummingbirds, but it also increases the chances of them visiting and feeding in your garden. Mass plantings provide a concentrated and abundant source of nectar, making it easier for hummingbirds to locate and access the flowers, resulting in more frequent and prolonged visits.
Create Diversity: Aim for a variety of plants with staggered bloom times. This will ensure a consistent and diverse nectar supply throughout the hummingbird season. Including a mix of shrubs, perennials, and annuals will provide a range of options for these tiny visitors. Get our favorites for all of these below!
Ready to bring more of these busy little birds to your garden? Find our favorite plants for creating an inviting sanctuary that will attract and delight hummingbirds for years to come below.
Best Perennials for Hummingbirds
Hummingbird Mint (Agastache)
Agastache, also known as "Hummingbird Mint," is a drought-tolerant, easy-care perennial that is highly favored by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it the ultimate perennial for attracting pollinators. Agastache has fragrant foliage and flowering spikes covered in tubular, vibrant blooms that are perfect for hummingbirds' long, narrow bills.
You get carefree summer color; hummingbirds get nectar spring to summer. This prolifically blooming, new compact hybrid has an impeccable habit, increased hardiness, improved disease resistance, and tolerance of wet, cold soils! Full sun. Up to 20" tall, 16" wide. Zones 5-10.
Hummingbirds and butterflies love the tall violet-blue flower spikes. Plus it has a well-branched, upright structure and fragrant green leaves. Blue Boa is eye-catching, low-maintenance, and drought-tolerant once established. Up to 24" tall, 18" wide; blooms reach 32" tall. Zones 5-9.
From late spring to frost, this plant is covered in light-pink flowers with darker buds, creating an attractive two-tone appearance. It stands out among other Agastache varieties due to its shorter, compact growth and abundant blooms that cover the entire plant. Full sun. Up to 16" tall and wide. Zones 6-10.
Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
Kniphofia, commonly known as "Hot Poker," is an excellent choice for attracting hummingbirds to your garden. The unique, torch-like flower spikes of Kniphofia are rich in nectar and produce a vibrant burst of color, ranging from fiery reds and oranges to warm yellows. These striking blooms, combined with their tall and upright growth habit, create an irresistible attraction for hummingbirds seeking a nectar-filled feast. The tubular shape of Kniphofia flowers perfectly accommodates the long, slender beaks of hummingbirds, allowing them to easily access the sweet nectar within.
Ideal for smaller spaces, this long-blooming dwarf variety attracts hummingbirds summer to fall with its continuous display of orange spikes adorned with red-tipped tubular flowers. The grass-like foliage, resistant to deer, offers both beautiful color and texture. Full sun. Up to 14" tall, 21" wide. Zones 6-9.
Hummingbirds visit blooms from early summer all the way to mid-fall. Vibrant red-orange flower spikes held tightly within and above its upright, grass-like foliage. The captivating color makes it an excellent choice for the front of a sunny perennial border, effortlessly drawing attention. Full sun. Up to 12" tall, 9" wide. Zones 6-9.
Native to South Africa, this is one of the shortest, prettiest, and most reliably cold-hardy species in its genus. Coral-red and yellow flower spikes grow atop a thick clump of narrow, arching, blue-green foliage. Well-suited to small city gardens and containers. Partial to full sun. Up to 18" tall, 18" wide. Zones 4-9.
Penstemon, also known as "Beardtongue," is another fantastic choice for attracting hummingbirds to your garden. With its tubular and nectar-rich flowers, Penstemon provides an irresistible treat for these tiny pollinators. The bright, trumpet-shaped blossoms come in a wide array of colors, including shades of red, purple, pink, and blue, creating a visual feast that is hard to resist. Plus, many Penstemon varieties have a long blooming period, ensuring a continuous food source for these energetic birds throughout the season.
Long-blooming, showy, abundant spikes of large purple flowers are a valuable source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The vigorous, bushy, compact habit makes this a great plant for perennial borders, rock gardens, and containers. Full sun. Up to 22" tall, 16" wide. Zones 5-9.
The glossy, purple-black foliage of this plant creates a stunning contrast against the masses of tubular, lavender-violet hummingbird-friendly flowers. Resistant to drought, heat, and humidity, and it also maintains an upright, compact habit. Partial to full sun. Up to 12" tall, 18" wide; blooms reach 24" tall. Zones 3-8.
This plant offers an abundance of color and vertical interest to any garden. Easy to grow and highly resistant to diseases. It thrives in poor, dry soils and thrives in full sun, making it particularly valuable for gardens in Western regions. Numerous showy, upright spikes have magenta-red flowers that attract hummingbirds. Full sun. Up to 22" tall, 16" wide. Zones 5-9.
Salvia, also known as sage, is an exceptional low-maintenance choice for attracting hummingbirds to your garden. The vibrant flowers of Salvia produce an abundance of nectar, making them highly appealing to hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Plus, there are varieties of salvia that are well-suited for just about any zone or region.
This compact variety of Mexican bush sage offers the same captivating purple flowers and extended blooming period as its larger counterparts. Its soft, gray-green foliage beautifully complements the vibrant blooms, creating an enchanting combination. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 9-11.
This compact sage variety is highly resilient to heat, drought, and humidity making it an excellent choice for hot and dry climates. The dark-purple buds burst open into vibrant purple flowers, creating a stunning display that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Partial to full sun. Up to 24" tall and wide. Zones 7-11.
Aloe and Hesperaloe
Aloe and Hesperaloe will both attract hummingbirds to your garden. These low-water succulents produce tall, upright flower spikes that are rich in nectar, making them irresistible to hummingbirds. Aloe and Hesperaloe varieties often bloom in vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, which acts like a beacon that catches the attention of hummingbirds from afar. In addition to their attractive flowers, these plants also offer a reliable nectar source, as they tend to bloom repeatedly throughout the season.
This compact, resilient aloe variety is both heat and drought-tolerant, making it a reliable choice for challenging conditions. It offers repeat blooming with impressive spikes of two-toned orange-pink and cream flower clusters that attract hummingbirds. Succulent leaves feature soft teeth and grow in an upright, spreading clump. Partial to full sun. Up to 18" tall, 40" wide. Zones 9-11.
Reduced seedpod production contributes to more abundant flowering throughout an exceptionally long season, making it perfect for providing nectar for hummingbirds. The vibrant red blooms have a dramatic effect in waterwise gardens and containers. Full sun. Up to 2' tall and wide; blooms rise to 3' tall. Zones 5-10.
This tough hybrid is well-suited for small spaces and thrives in hot conditions. Its narrow, upright blue-gray leaves provide a striking contrast to the pale-orange hummingbird-attracting flower spikes. This low-maintenance succulent is well adapted to grow in poor soil. Partial to full sun. Up to 2' tall and wide. Zones 9-11.
Cape Fuchsia (Phygelius)
Cape Fuchsia, scientifically known as Phygelius, attracts and feeds hummingbirds with an abundance of tubular, vivid flowers. Cape Fuchsia blooms in a variety of vibrant colors, including shades of red, orange, and pink, which by now you know hummingbirds find irresistible. The abundant nectar produced by Cape Fuchsia flowers serves as a valuable food source for hummingbirds.
This plant showcases a bushy, upright mound adorned with handsome dark green foliage. From midsummer through fall, the star of the show emerges as the showy clusters of dangling, tubular, fuchsia-like flowers in a stunning shade of orange, resembling brilliant firecrackers. Partial shade to partial sun, Up to 3' tall, 2' wide. Zones 6-10.
An easy-care, sensational bloomer, this cape fuchsia provides vibrant warm season color and nectar for hummingbirds from midsummer into fall. Showy clusters of dangling, tubular, fuchsia-like, deep red flowers are perfect for a colorful summer container. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 3' tall, 2' wide. Zones 6-9.
This Monrovia exclusive is a sure winner with its handsome, bushy foliage, and a seemingly endless supply of tubular, curved, nectar-rich, showy pink flower clusters that attract hummingbirds from midsummer into fall. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 3' tall, 2' wide. Zones 6-10.
More Hummingbird Favorites
Don't forget these hummingbird favorites! Bee balm, well known as a bee and butterfly favorite is also great for hummingbirds. And while Heuchera is primarily used for its unique foliage, the pink- and red-blooming varieties will be visited by hummingbirds, as well. Honeysuckle varieties like Goldflame are less agressive growers and are veritable hummingbird magnets all summer long.
This compact plant boasts an abundance of boldly colored, shaggy lilac-purple flowers that bloom profusely and attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Its dark-green foliage emits a fragrant minty-basil scent, adding to its appeal. Superior resistance to powdery mildew compared to others. Partial to full sun. Up to 12" tall, 10" wide. Zones 4-9.
This versatile vine is perfect for covering trellises, arbors, and fences. During the summer, this vine bursts with purple to deep-pink buds that open up into beautifully fragrant, golden-yellow, tubular flowers that entice hummingbirds from spring through fall. Partial to full sun. Up to 15' long. Zones 4-9.
Sprays of vibrant hot pink blooms open in late spring, attracting hummingbirds to your garden. This variety showcases some of the darkest foliage available, with ruffled leaves in shades of purple-red that bring captivating depth to any garden or mixed container. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 18" tall, 15" wide. Zones 4-9.
Best Flowering Shrubs for Hummingbirds
Flowering shrubs can often provide a more substantial and longer-lasting source of nectar than perennials. Selecting flowering shrubs such as butterfly bush, weigela, crape myrtle, aralia, and hibiscus will not only add beauty and structure to your garden but also create an irresistible buffet for hummingbirds.
This stunning gem of a plant produces an abundance of large, vibrant-red flowers adorned with a deep-red eye. Whether in warm, sunny, tropical gardens or as an eye-catching addition to containers on patios and courtyards, this outstanding selection adds a bold, exotic splash of color and draws hummingbirds all summer long. Full sun. Up to 5' tall and wide in the landscape where hardy. Zones 9-11.
A more compact reblooming weigela, showcasing a tidy, rounded shape adorned with vibrant, lipstick-red tubular flowers, each graced with a delicate white eye. This versatile shrub makes a colorful addition as a backdrop to a flower border or a captivating focal point in front of larger shrubs. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 4-9.
Typically prized for its captivating blend of yellow, lime, and green foliage, this unique aralia also features showy panicles of white flower clusters that feed hummingbirds in late winter and early spring, when few other flowers are blooming. Full shade to partial sun. Up to 8' tall and wide. Zones 7-10.
This remarkable shrub showcases large and exquisite white flowers that grace the stems from top to bottom all summer long. Each bloom boasts a striking deep red-violet center and prominent stamina, creating a visually stunning display that is also irresistible to hummingbirds. Partial to full sun. Up to 6' tall, 4' wide. Zones 5-9.
Dense blooms of bright pink flowers create a breathtaking display of summer color. The attractive red new growth transitions to a lush green, adding depth and interest to its foliage. Its compact habit makes it an ideal choice for smaller landscapes. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 7-10.
Best Annuals for Hummingbirds
Using annual flowers is a fantastic strategy to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Their vibrant and abundant blooms provide a reliable source of nectar throughout the hummingbird season. By selecting a variety of annual flowers with different blooming times, you can ensure a continuous supply of nectar and keep the hummingbirds returning to your garden all season long. Including hummingbird-friendly annuals in your garden will create a colorful and enticing environment that hummingbirds won't be able to resist.
Large and vibrant flowers make a bold statement in any garden, plus bring hummingbirds close when planted in hanging baskets or containers. Continuously blooms from spring through fall, and withstands late spring frosts, heavy rains, and summer heat. Partial to full sun. Up to 14" tall, 18" wide.
Get more information and inspiration for habitat-friendly gardening
- Take a look at the pollinator section of the blog for a variety of stories about pollinator-friendly gardening
- Free Backyard Habitat Guide with Landscape Plans
- Easy Pollinator Garden Ideas
- Colorful Pollinator Container Garden Ideas
- Modern Meadow: A fresh take on pollinator garden design
- What to Plant to Attract Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and Bees
- Ask an Expert: Best Pollinator Plants for the Garden
- Beneficial Insects for a Healthy Garden: A Visual Guide
- Best Early-Spring Flowering Plants to Attract Pollinators
- 10 Early-Blooming, Cold-Hardy Plants for Pollinators
- Late Summer and Fall-Blooming Perennials
- Grow a Pollinator Border
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